N.S. election: Tory leader keeps candidate despite 2018 post threatening cyclists

·2 min read

HALIFAX — A Progressive Conservative candidate's threatening online rant from 2018 against Nova Scotia cyclists that surfaced this week is "disturbing," says the co-president of the provincial cycling association.

Tory candidate Jennifer Ehrenfeld-Poole had written on Facebook in June 2018 that she expected cyclists to move to the side of the road or she would drive her truck within "a hair" of them, adding that she wished she "could get away with running you completely over."

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston says Ehrenfeld-Poole, candidate in the Annapolis riding, located in the province's Annapolis Valley region, had told him about the post when she was being vetted by the party.

Houston says she had told him she had sent an apology to Bicycle Nova Scotia, the non-profit group that supports cycling in the province.

Bicycle Nova Scotia co-president Susanna Fuller says that despite the written apology, the 2018 post highlights how all political parties in the province should take actions to promote cycling safety.

Houston says Ehrenfeld-Poole had been frustrated by a group of cyclists on the road and had "vented" on social media, adding that his candidate is remorseful for her actions. He says he decided to allow her to run for office in the riding that former Liberal premier Stephen McNeil had held since 2003 because she had disclosed the incident prior to her candidacy.

"The comments made by the candidate in 2018 are still incredibly disturbing," Fuller said in an interview today.

"I would say I hope this issue coming up during the election makes all parties galvanize around cycling and cycling safety and shows we still have a long way to go to make our roads and trails safe for cyclists."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 20, 2021.

Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press

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